LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Shortly after handing Giancarlo Stanton his new No. 27 pinstriped jersey Monday afternoon, general manager Brian Cashman made it clear the Yankees weren't done making moves."We have more work to do," Cashman said.It was reasonable to believe that work involved adding one more starting pitcher
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Shortly after handing Giancarlo Stanton his new No. 27 pinstriped jersey Monday afternoon, general manager Brian Cashman made it clear the Yankees weren't done making moves.
"We have more work to do," Cashman said.
It was reasonable to believe that work involved adding one more starting pitcher -- presumably Carsten Sabathia -- as the final significant piece of New York's offseason. Stanton figured to be the only major change to the roster that fell only one win shy of a World Series appearance, leaving little more than some fine-tuning to take care of between now and the start of Spring Training.
Cashman, an aggressive GM who is always trying to think three or four steps ahead, had other ideas.
On Tuesday, the Yankees shipped starting third baseman Chase Headley, right-hander Bryan Mitchell and $500,000 to the Padres for outfielder Jabari Blash, creating even more financial flexibility as they work to remain under the $197 million luxury-tax threshold.
The deal sheds another $12.5 million off the Yanks' current payroll, which stands at approximately $157 million when you factor in the expected raises for their eight arbitration-eligible players.
That leaves them $40 million shy of the threshold, meaning they could spend another $30 million and still have money to spare to use at next summer's non-waiver Trade Deadline.
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The trade also opened a spot at third base, creating two vacancies in the infield following Starlin Castro's departure in the Stanton deal.
According to sources, however, those openings don't appear to be the Yankees' top priority.
While the Yanks remain engaged with Sabathia, Cashman seems intent on acquiring a controllable starting pitcher along with another starter -- again, presumably Sabathia -- to join a rotation led by Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka and Sonny Gray. Lefty Jordan Montgomery is also in the rotation mix, though he has Minor League options and can begin the season at Triple-A as injury protection.
Detroit right-hander Michael Fulmer, the 2016 American League Rookie of the Year Award winner, is believed to be a potential target, according to a source. Fulmer has five years of club control remaining and won't become arbitration-eligible until 2019, making him an attractive option.
It would surely take a hefty package led by Clint Frazier and possibly Chance Adams -- New York's No. 2 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com -- to land Fulmer, though Frazier appears to be expendable following the acquisition of Stanton, not to mention the emergence of Estevan Florial, the Yankees' No. 3 prospect.
Other potential trade targets include Pittsburgh's Gerrit Cole (two years of control), Arizona's Patrick Corbin (one year of control) and Kansas City's Danny Duffy (signed through 2021 for $60 million).
Then there are those two infield openings to address. Either spot could be filled by highly touted Gleyber Torres, MLBPipeline.com's No. 2 overall prospect in baseball. Cashman has said Torres would have a chance to make the team next spring, and that was before Castro was sent packing to Miami. Other internal options include Miguel Andujar (the team's No. 5 prospect) at third, and Ronald Torreyes or Tyler Wade at either position.
Another possibility? Should the Yanks work out a trade for Fulmer, they could look to include second baseman Ian Kinsler in the deal. Kinsler is owed $10 million next season in the final year of his current deal, and it likely wouldn't take more than an additional mid-level prospect to acquire him.
The free-agent market also includes several options at second base, including Neil Walker and Eduardo Nunez, though both would likely require a two-year deal.
Todd Frazier could be the wild card in this whole thing, as the veteran slugger loved his brief stint in the Bronx last season, helping create a fun, loose culture in the clubhouse. The New Jersey native would love to return, though it's difficult to imagine the Yankees tying up third base for multiple years when Manny Machado is set to become a free agent next fall.
Perhaps they'll just go all-in and try to get Machado now, though prying him away from owner Peter Angelos and the division-rival Orioles seems like an impossible task unless they're willing to part with the top three or four names in their system -- assuming that would even be enough. This option feels like a non-starter on both sides. The Yanks will have to wait until next year for their shot at Machado.
Then again, Stanton felt like the longest of long shots, too. Until he wasn't. He's a Yankee now, and although he can look at their roster now to begin learning who his new teammates are, he should probably wait another few weeks before committing those names to memory.
The Yankees aren't finished making big moves this offseason. Not even close.
Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined MLB.com as a reporter in 2001.